Name Variations CHENEY,1 CHINNEY2
Father Bernard aka Barney CHANEY b.c. 1796 m. 18473 d. 18584
Mother Jane FLANNERY b.c. 1830 m. 1847 d. aft. 1886
Sister Mary Theresa CHENEY b. 18445 m. 18836 Michael J. RALEIGH7 d. 19038
Sister Jane CHENEY b.c. 1847 m. (1) 18659 (2) 187410 (1) Henry BYRNES (2) Edward DOWER d. 191511
Brother Robert CHINNEY b. 184812 m. 188413 Ellen McDONALD née TAYLOR d. 192114
Inmate Ann CHANEY b. 185015 m. unknown (see below) d. aft. 1884
Husband unknown b. m. d.
Daughter Ethel Pearl CHENEY b. 188416 m. d.
Relationship Name Age Height Hair Eyes Complexion Build Distinguishing features
Father Barney17 20 5' 5" black dark dark ruddy

Annie was admitted to the school at Newcastle on 10 September 1867, from Sydney.18 As Ann CHINNEY, she had appeared in court on warrant on 5 September 1867, but was recorded in the Entrance Book as Annie CHANEY. Police evidence in court described Ann as 'an exceedingly well-conducted girl.' According to her mother's statement to constable LARKINS Ann was fifteen years and six months of age.19 Her age in the Entrance Book was not supported by her age identified on her baptism and she was already seventeen so had been illegally arrested under the act. Had her correct age been identified she would not have been admitted to the school. It may be that her mother was aware of this and had deliberately lied. Annie's religion was recorded in the Entrance Book as Catholic and her educational level was described as 'sequel number 2 small hand' which was a good level of education when compared to other admissions to the school. Ann lived with her widowed mother who kept a boarding house in Castlereagh Street, Sydney, but who wasn’t named in the Entrance Book. The newspaper report of Ann's court appearance described her mother as a reputed prostitute and stated that her house was a resort for persons of ill fame. This classification and the reason for Annie's arrest is uncertain as in his letter to the Colonial Secretary on 1 August 1870, CLARKE indicated that the charge under which Annie had been arrested was having no lawful or visible means of support rather than associating with prostitutes. Annie’s medical assessment by Dr HARRIS indicated that she was a virgin.20

Jane, Annie’s mother, wrote to the Colonial Secretary on 12 October 1867, from 6 Hoskins Buildings, Castlereagh Street, politely requesting permission to see her daughter.21 The spelling of her surname in this letter was CHENEY. The letter was forwarded to Agnes KING and presumably permission was given although no indication of this was recorded in the correspondence. Annie did not transfer to Biloela on Cockatoo Island as she was the first girl discharged from Newcastle by CLARKE after his arrival. CLARKE notified the Colonial Secretary of her discharge in his report on 16 December 1868.22 Because Annie had turned eighteen, CLARKE had arranged that she be placed in service with Mr T. COHEN, in Newcastle and this placement occurred on 11 December 1868.23 In 1870 CLARKE reported that Annie had left Newcastle and at that date she was in service with a tailor in Bathurst Street, Sydney.24

On 5 March 1884, it is thought that Annie delivered the illegitimate daughter Ethel Pearl CHENEY. The transcription of the registration gives Annie's age as 24 which is ten years too young but it is still thought likely that this was a child of the Newcastle admission. At this time Annie was living in Agar Street, off Kent Street, Sydney and was the informant for Ethel's birth.

No further trace of Annie or Ethel has yet been confirmed and no reference to either woman has been found in any Funeral Notice for either her brother Robert, or sisters Mary or Jane – although it must be noted that there is also no reference to Robert CHENEY in either Mary or Jane's Family Notices and he was known to still be alive.

It is believed that Annie never married but adopted the name of the man with whom she associated.


Annie was the youngest child of Barney CHENEY and Jane FLANNERY who had married on 22 November 1847, in St Mary’s Catholic Church, Sydney.25 Both were from Sydney. Bernard signed the register as Barney. The witnesses were John KELLY and Margaret Ann (X) KELLY. The transcription also indicated Margaret's alternate name was Mary Ann KELLY. No permission to marry has been located for Barney and Jane. Annie had two older sisters and one older brother. The baptism of one sister,26 Jane, hasn’t been found. Annie was born on 8 November 1850, and was baptised on 5 December 1850, in the Roman Catholic St. James, Sydney. Her sponsors were Mary CHANEY and Patrick WALSH. No identification of this Mary CHANEY has been confirmed and this woman was almost certainly not Annie's six-year-old sister. This woman may have been the wife of William CHENEY. This couple had arrived aboard the General Hewitt as assisted immigrants in 1848. She perhaps died in Sydney in 1869. No further details appear on the NSW BDM Index.27 Annie had been illegally arrested under the act and it is likely that her mother knew this. Annie was not the only one of the CHENEY children who lived separately from their mother.

Bernard CHeney was the convict who had been transported for life in 1819 aboard the Malabar. He was variously recorded as Barney, Barnet or Bernard. Newspaper notices refer to him most often as Barney, a butcher of Cumberland Street, Sydney. A court appearance located the family in Princes Street, Sydney. By 1856, the family was under financial stress as Bernard hadn’t worked for about three months. Jane took him to court to answer for his neglect of his family. She stated that she had four children and had been providing for them by selling things. CHENEY said:

he was willing to work if he could get employment. He had been 9 years a journeyman, and 21 years a tenant under one person, and it was well known he had been in good circumstances, and that his wife – who led him a bad life – had brought him down and been the ruin of himself and family by her conduct. The case was adjourned for a fortnight, and the unfortunate man was warned to seek work and look after his family in the meantime.28

Barney's death on 16 April 1858, was registered as Barnabas CHANEY29 and his funeral notice was recorded in two issues of the Empire as Barney CHANEY.30

The home-life of the CHANEY children may not have been pleasant. After Barney's death in 1858, his eldest daughter, Mary Theresa, was not living in the family31 In July 1861, Jane advertised offering a reward for Mary's safe return.32 Jane gave her address as 148 Clarence Street, Sydney. Mary may very well be the Mary CHANEY who was advertising the benefits of a concoction made by Dr. MOORE for her epilepsy. This girl, a native of Sydney, had lived in Goulburn for a number of years.33 In September 1864, Mrs CHANEY of 217 Clarence Street, also advertised for information concerning

Robert CHANEY: Some years ago, the above youth, of the age of about fifteen years, was taken from the Parramatta Orphan School. Any person who will forward the said boy to the undersigned will receive the reward of £5, Mrs. CHANEY, 217, Clarence-street.34

No further trace has been confirmed for Annie's mother, Jane. She was almost certainly alive and living in Waverley in February 1886 when she placed an apology in the SMH.

I HEREBY APOLOGISE to Mr. ROBERT WILLIAMS, of McGarvie-street, Paddington, for certain slanderous statements made by me reflecting upon himself and household, and which statements were wholly without foundation; at the same time thanking him for his kindness in withdrawing legal proceedings in the matter.
Isabella-street, Waverley, 19th February, 1886. J. CHANEY. Witness – J. M. FAWL, Solicitor, 96, Elizabeth-street.

Online trees identify that after Barney died Jane married Henry BYRNES and then after Henry's death, Edward DOWER. Jane married Barney in 1847 so almost certainly had been born no later than about 1838. If she did marry Edward DOWER she had her last child in 1884 at the age of at about 50 so it is possible but considered unlikely. Only the actual death registration for Jane DOWER in 1914 will identify her age and this record has not been viewed. Jane stated in her 1856 court appearance that she had four children so, while it is possible that she did make these later marriages, they have been attributed to Annie's sister, Jane. The younger woman may be identified through the death notice of Mary RALEIGH, where she is clearly recorded as a sister, and not a mother,35 and also the notice of Maud Jane Ann JOHNSON.36 It is considered likely that Mary and Jane remained close but it is unknown whether they had any contact with Annie or Robert. It is unknown where Jane was living after the death of Barney but it may be that she had also been placed in one of the orphan schools. When Jane DOWER died in Sydney on 29 May 1915,37 her parents were recorded as Bernard and Isabella38 and this may help identify the death of Jane senior. Robert's death was registered in Newtown on 17 May 1921.39 Neither death notice has yet been found. The NSW BDM Index identified the death of Jane CHENEY at Blayney in 189940 and the index identified her parents as John W. and Ann. This may be a registration to view as it is possible that this may be her.

Where has She Gone?

No further confirmation of Annie's life has been able to be verified after 1884. The electoral rolls may find her after 1903 but to date searches have been unsuccessful. No marriage or death has been found for Ann/i/e in NSW.

The death of Ethel CHANEY in 1973 recorded that her parents were Harry and Annie but this woman was the wife of Alec E. CHANEY from the Blue Mountains so is not Annie's daughter. It may be that Ethel was raised by another member of her family or Annie’s marriage was not registered. The Annie Mary CHANEY who married in 190241 was Robert CHANEY’s daughter who was very likely named after her aunts.

The only death of an Annie with parents Bernard (or variations) and Jane is Annie HANSEN in 1936 (3093/1936) and only a daughter, Joan, was mentioned in her funeral notice so this is unlikely. This couple had married in 1920.

Updated July 2019

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